- Remove iron using various chemical filters.water image by Jan Will from Fotolia.com
Iron minerals in water are a serious problem and are often indicative of "hard" water, or water that has a high amount of dissolved minerals. These minerals can affect water taste, build up scale in pipes and can create additional problems when washing. Iron can react with a wide variety of materials, including porcelain, and stain them permanently. To lower the amount of iron in water, homeowners can install a number of different filters designed specifically for removing minerals like iron from the water.
- Ion exchange systems use an electrolysis process to simply sub out the iron minerals for sodium ions. This filter uses a tank filled with a brine that produces the sodium resin for the process. Homeowners need to add salt to the tank occasionally, and the filter can only soften a certain amount of water at one time, usually at night when no water is used.
Filters With Chlorine
- Filters that use chlorine add the chlorine to water systems with an injection pump. The chlorine reacts immediately with the iron particles (and other minerals), drawing the iron out from the water until it is precipitated enough to filter using a common water filter. This method is effective but leaves chlorine and chlorine particles in the water, so a charcoal filter is often used to remove this particles as well.
Precipitation With Greensand
- Greensand is a filtering material that uses glauconite, a compound that has a similar oxidation effect to chlorine on the minerals in the water. The greensand precipitates the iron particles and filters them out simultaneously, trapping the iron in the fine grains of sand that the filter uses. These filters often come in smaller sizes for spot filtering of water entering a pool or house.
- Polyphosphate treatments are used for household filters that only need to deal with a small amount of iron particles. Polyphosphates are a group of compounds that bond easily to the dissolved iron. As a result, the iron particles stay attached to the polyphosphates instead of bonding to other surfaces the water brushes against. This filter does not remove any iron particles but does render them inert.